October 11, 2017

CUA Law Professor Roger Colinvaux was quoted in an Oct. 11 Washington Post article entitled "The GOP plan to simplify taxes could put charitable giving at risk." See below

The GOP plan to simplify taxes could put charitable giving at risk

From: The Washington Post
Date: Oct. 11, 2017
By: Carolyn Y. Johnson

At the heart of the GOP tax plan is a push toward simplification that could have unintended consequences, potentially hurting charities - particularly those that depend on donations from middle-class donors.

To fulfill a long-held promise to make taxes simpler, the plan would end itemization for most Americans who use it today, by increasing the standard deduction. About 30 percent of taxpayers who file returns currently itemize - and the prospect of that change has triggered a strong behind-the-scenes campaign from charities seeking to make sure the tax incentive continues to be used.

According to an Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center analysis of a plan with similar elements, the 45 million households that would itemize deductions under the current rules in 2017 would drop to just 7 million.

. . .

"One of the points of the [charitable] deduction is to foster altruism, to foster pluralism, to foster civic society," said Roger Colinvaux, a law professor at the Catholic University of America and former legislation counsel on Congress's nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. "If the deduction ends up being for the top 5 percent of taxpayers who are the wealthiest, I think you're really painting a very elitist picture of what this incentive is for. It's only incentivizing the charitable choices of the richest, and the pluralism of the richest, and the civic groups chosen by the wealthiest."

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